Alzheimer's-Exercise

High school students run at sunset as they practice for the track and field season Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, in Shawnee, Kan. New research hints that even simple exercise just might help fend off memory problems. While physical activity helps keep healthy brains fit, it's not clear how much it helps once memory starts to slide. 

New research hints that even a simple exercise routine just might help older Americans with mild memory problems.

Doctors have long advised physical activity to help keep a healthy brain fit. But the government-funded study marks the longest test of whether exercise makes any difference once memory starts to slide — research performed amid a pandemic that added isolation to the list of risks to participants' brain health.

Researchers recruited about 300 sedentary older adults with hard-to-spot memory changes called mild cognitive impairment or MCI -- a condition that’s sometimes, but not always, a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Half were assigned aerobic exercises and the rest stretching-and-balance moves that only modestly raised their heart rate.

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